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5 Easy Tips to Improve Your Wi-Fi Signal for Better Streaming


When cord cutters experience buffering they often blame the streaming provider when the real issue is their Wi-Fi network.

These complaints are common with live TV services as they often say “Netflix works but my live TV service does not.” The truth is live TV needs a little more speed for a variety of reasons including the fact that unlike Netflix live TV is not seeding servers inside your ISPs home network. So you may have the speed you need for your home Wi-Fi but not the speed for live TV.

The good news is there are a few things you can do to improve your Wi-Fi network to make sure you have the best possible streaming experience.

#1 The Best Location for Your Wi-Fi Router

A weak Wi-Fi signal will give far lower speeds than a strong Wi-Fi signal, so you want to do your best to have the strongest possible signal. For most that likely means putting your router in the center of your house; however, you may want to take some time and explore different locations for the strongest possible signal.

#2 Keep Your Wi-Fi Router Away from Other Electronics

It is best to avoid putting your Wi-Fi router right next to metal and other electronics. Avoid placing your router next to a refrigerator or behind a TV, because they will block some of the signal the router sends out reducing performance in some parts of your house.

#3 Use the 5Ghz Network

Most new Wi-Fi Routers offer a 2.4Ghz and a 5Ghz (5G) network. For streaming, it is best to use the 5G option. You will find far better speeds on the 5Ghz network over the 2.4Ghz network.

Switching to the 5Ghz network will likely reduce the amount of buffering you will find on your favorite streaming service.

#4 Upgrade Your Router

If you have a router that is only an N router or even an older G router I highly recommend you upgrade to the new AC standard. You will find far better streaming and reception with the new AC standard.

#5 Use an Ethernet Cord

This is not really a Wi-Fi tip, but if you can use an Ethernet cable to connect to your streaming and gaming device. I often find people have their router feet from their streaming player but still use Wi-Fi. Ethernet will always give a far better streaming experience.

There you go… several easy tips for improving your streaming experience.

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  • Vegas Steve

    Good suggestions, if only we could do them all. Router position is highly dependent on where the internet feed enters your house, unless you have a newer house that is fully wired for ethernet.

    Keeping it away from electronics is also difficult, because where you plug in is most likely where most of your electronics are (but yeah, you never want to ‘hide’ it behind anything).

    I hate when people always say to use the 5Ghz network. If you’re really close to the router (for me anyway), yeah, it’s fine. If not (one connection I have is about 50 feet away), you lose any gains because signal strength drops off dramatically with 5Ghz. I had drop outs on 5Ghz that I didn’t have on 2.4Ghz. Probably prioritizing your router would be a better way to go for a lot of people.

    Upgrading your router, if you can afford it, is helpful. I picked up some signal strength when I upgraded. What I lost was about $225 out of my wallet for doing so. Not cheap, but in routers, many times you get what you pay for. I went with a TP Link AC5400. I had tried a Nighthawk AC1900 that was about $75 cheaper, but the performance/range just wasn’t there, and I have a relatively small house. I think routers are kinda like OTA antennas, you almost have to try them out to see what works best.

  • SpideyRules

    And here I thought there would be real suggestions, like configuring port forwarding or other more in-depth suggestions…

  • Miklaus Schnabel

    one more simple thing,put the router UP high ,not low.I had a friend that was wondering why his wi fi sucked,it was because his router was in the basement.I said, actually it’d be better, even if it was in your upstairs vs. the basement! voila.

  • Forget all of this. Quite screwing around… Get a ‘mesh’ system. I installed Eero system a couple months ago. Goodbye buffering. Sure it’s pricey. But well worth it.